Posts Tagged ‘Upset The Rhythm’

Raven Mahon on Roland Blinn – Rosebud

When writing up The Green Child this week I mentioned that they’re mining some real fun off-kilter synth pop tendencies, finding blending The Creatures and Strawberry Switchblade with jangled touches. One thing I’ve long learned, though, is that while there may be some scars inherent in a record that by no means dictates an artist’s current obsessions. Raven Mahon might be familiar here from her work in The Green Child, but perhaps more so as a member of Grass Widow. The band was long a favorite from the beginning of the last decade, mining post-punk and jangle pop with a carefree flair. I’d asked Raven for a Hidden Gems pick and she’s found an offbeat chem that certainly meets up to the overlooked part of the equation. Check out her take on Canadian songwriter Roland Blinn’s LP Rosebud.

Continue Reading
0 Comments

The Green Child

Closing the gap in their long-distance music project and crystalizing the scope of their radiant, baroque strain of synth-pop, Raven Mahon (Grass Widow) and Mikey Young (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Total Control) return as The Green Child. The sophomore LP has smoothed many of the discordant edges off of their recordings, without losing any of their brand of warbled weirdness. Propulsive, but staggering slightly, the songs on Shimmering Basset aren’t beholden to many of the ‘80s touchstones that normally bubble up when synth-pop is at play. The pair’s wide array of past endeavors and likely deep shelf record collections may be at the heart of the schism here, and we’re all the better for it. While Total Control is a decidedly more caustic branch of synthesizer storm, a good deal of the band’s tendency towards squirm-addled sounds makes its way into the formula on The Green Child’s sophomore outing. Likewise, while Raven’s vocals add a perfectly icy air that’s throwing the fantasy dreampop of Strawberry Switchblade into a stainless steel vortex with Siouxsie’s offshoot The Creatures, and perhaps a whiff of Altered Images.

Though they’re less straightforward than those influences might lead one to believe, the same spirit of taking pop and letting it warp nicely in the sun appears to be at work. They let their baked Flexi vibes infect the album completely, with a slight psychedelic sheen forming. It can feel as if their songs are born from beaming 8mm videos of the band playing through a wall of prisms, letting the melodies through in blurred brilliance, haloed by rainbow ripples dancing into view. The blending of jangle n’ strum with the pound of electronic pop is tightened on the new album, letting their obsessions bleed into one another as symbiotic forces rather than song to song impulses. The record is darker, with its nails dug deeper into the railing than ever before, this album opens itself wider with each relisten. It’s by no means an immediate catch — the “grower”-type of album in true form. Yet, once the band’s under your skin its hard to extract their grip from your heart nor their silvered hooks from your head.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Amy Hill on Pink Flamingos – We Never Close

Amy Hill has been a regular around here, having been RSTB faves Terry, Primo!, and Constant Mongrel. She’s got another record on the way with Al Montfort as the hard to pin down Sleeper & Snake. The band’s sounds are rooted in synth pop, but they incorporate a clash of jangles, muffled and delirious horns for a haunted edge to their songwriting. Its a post-punk record in the truest sense, feeling through the disparate waters for sounds that might compliment each other and just as often, shake the listener off balance. I’d talked with Amy after the last Primo! record, which was a fave but fates aligned for her to be able to contribute a pick to the Hidden Gems series this time around. Figuring with all the influences in her collective work some post-punk treasure might arise, but I love that this column always keeps me on my toes. Check out Amy’s pick — the Kiwi pub rock curio from The Pink Flamingos below.

Continue Reading
0 Comments

Sleeper & Snake – “Shoot Through”

Getting closer to the release of the sophomore LP from Sleeper & Snake. The project, which pairs Amy Hill (Primo, Terry) with Al Montfort (Total Control, Dick Diver, Terry) for a slinking, pop prod through uneasy pop waters. The latest single drapes itself over the listener, maybe a bit too close. It’s off balance, woozy, and wobbling in the way a friend might after one glass of wine too many. The metronomic beat persists, but the sway of strums and muffled sax give it a cottonmouth pop quality that’s ultimately endearing, as is the rest of the band’s upcoming LP for Upset The Rhythm. Fresco Shed is out October 23rd.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

The Green Child – “Fashion Light”

The pieces of this new album from The Green Child (Raven Mahon & Mikey Young) are dripping out and their blurred vision of synth pop swims up from the subconscious desires of dreams. The synths defuse through the barrier of sleep on “Fashion Light” with Young adding a restraint swipe of guitar and Raven laying on a glaze of sax. While there are many who are content to simply dig into the past and recycle, The Green Child is creating a sound that could have easily sat between the shelf with Strawberry Switchblade and The Creatures. The band’s truly refined their sound since the first album and that’s in no small part due to this one being put together together in Young’s studio rather than cross continents. The pair don’t play to the expectations of their past bands, creating a gauzy universe within the bounds of these few minutes.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Naked Roommate

I was always a fan of Oakland post-punks The World, and was ultimately saddened that along with the announcement of the debut from Naked Roommate came the news that they’d ceased to exist. Amber Sermeńo & Andy Jordan of the band continue their exploration of past impulses, however, with their new endeavor. Still teetering on the edge of post-punk and the void, still tethered to the Earth by a rubber-bound ballast of bass, the new band isn’t worlds away from what they’d set to explore in their previous pursuits. Yet, where The World burned hot and insistent, Naked Roommate exists their reclined and refined sibling. It’s easy to see the slide from one to the other. The World triggered their tension via blasts of sax and shards of guitar that were set to slice, let slip a few years further down the post-punk pike and like the punks before them they pick up dub, gutter-spliced dance, and the hangover of pre-public acceptability disco.

With members of Bad Bad, Preening, and Blues Lawyer in tow, the duo create a record that feels reckless in its pursuit of repose. With their credentials it would have been easy to pick at the scabs of punk once again, but the band shows a fascination with ESG’s bare bones debt to dance, Northwest slow-simmer unit C.O.C.O. and the tape-hiss pile-up from the early aughts that was packed with bands like Vibes, Psychic Reality, and LA Vampires. It works together into a record that feels reverent to the past, but not precious enough not to get caught up in recreating anything with any air of accuracy. More than anything, Do The Duvet feels like a few friends having fun and working out a kind of crash-house soundtrack that’s fun and frivolous. It’s not aspiring to knock the moorings out of the world, but sometimes just bringing people together and vibing is a political act.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE or HERE.

0 Comments

The Green Child – “Low Desk : High Shelf”

It’s a good week for RSTB faves around here. After a nice entry to the ongoing series over at Looking Glass The Green Child, the duo of Raven Mahon (Grass Widow) and Mikey Young (Total Control, ECSR), are back with a sophomore LP that’s strengthening their sound into something more concrete than their debut. Done trading demos from California to Australia, the pair are now both based in the Aussie seaside town of Rye with access to Mikey’s studio and more time to concentrate on reverse engineering dreampop. “Low Desk : High Shelf” is a propulsive synth-pop cut that’s more than it lets on. With themes cut from Camus’ The Stranger revolving around our ingrained perspective and the absurdity of the angles we find ourselves perched and perceiving the litany of life, its hardly . Raven’s vocals poke through a waft of haze, though the track is decidedly pulsing along on bubbled synth strains and a shimmer of guitar.

The accompanying video attempts to contextualize the themes with a contemporary note from the director, Nemali Hypolite, who sums it up, “When directing this video, I kept one thought in my conceptual orbit; the pursuit of happiness. In the year 2020, it seems irrefutably obvious that racism and its disciples continue to ride on our coattails. An unwelcome guest whose presence rewards only those willing to condemn their brothers and sisters to a life of defeat. If at the root of it all, we’re all sentient beings seeking happiness, who’s to say some of us are less deserved than others? I wanted to experiment with the soft whimsical notes of this song, it’s lyrical depth, and my own indignant interpretation of the insider’s club we call the pursuit of happiness. Thus created a calculated, narrative visual piece. One that employs obvious metaphors, basic colour aesthetics, and tacky gore, but perhaps evokes a more metacognitive reflection.” The LP, Shimmering Basset is out Oct 9th on Upset The Rhythm. Check the video and get this in rotation.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Vintage Crop

No secret around here that I have a penchant for Aussie punk, and some of the best singles banging out these days come not from Melbourne or Brisbane, but from Geelong via Vintage Crop. The band’s bit hard on the live socket swagger of Wire, The Fall, and other such ‘70s spitters with jagged leads and caustic choruses. The record swings from pit-sweat thrummers to the kind of writhing, coiled killers that have made the band such an endearing presence the last couple of years. Serve To Serve Again was recorded with Mikey Young and there’s certainly a reverence for Young’s own ECSR legacy in the mix. With Young at the boards VC are accentuating the spring-loaded attack and brittle ends that have let punk and post-punk copulate in the current Aussie environment to create a sickened and swinging brand of propulsive punk that won’t be pinned to the floor.

Bass lines bulge at the seams, barely fitting into their niche, guitars scorch, slash, dart, and dodge the microphones and atop the glorious din Jack Cherry lays into the louche life with a sneer that can be felt through the wobble of the speakers. Unfurled late-stage capitalism, wage slave doldrums, and the festering tension of a generation left in the lurch all leak into the lyrics. The band wraps Jack’s invective around their supple songwriting, mulling the bile before letting it loose into the water supply. Vintage Crop have been hammering out squirm-inducing sonics for the past few years, but with Serve To Serve Again I do believe they’re peaking.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Vintage Crop – “The North”

A second bent and bulging single from Aussies Vintage Crop comes with an austere Video in tow. “The North” is built on the same bulbous basslines that pushed the band’s previous cut, but there’s a dash of New Wave keys splashed on top as well that add an infectious itch. That said, this song is driven by the guitar/bass battle for which is gonna gum the most gristle. The tones are thick and satisfying and the band proves that they’ve got post-punk nailed to the door with every note. There’s not a miss on their upcoming album, but this is a prime example of the band at their peak. The record arrives August 7th as a split release between Upset The Rhythm and Anti-Fade.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE or HERE.

0 Comments

Naked Roommate – “Mad Love”

The exciting news of the new single from Naked Roommate is balanced by the equally sad news that it’s officially over for The World. The beloved Oakland post-punk outfit only had a handful of records, but they lit a disjointed fire on each one. The band’s Amber Sermeńo & Andy Jordan carry on the torch, but strip things back further than the sax-scratched sounds of The World. Alongside mems of Bad Bad, Preening, and Blues Lawyer, the pair embrace a skeletal beat that recalls ESG, C.O.C.O., or the disjointed funk of Lizzy Mercier Descloux. “Mad Love” bubbles in on beats inflated with recycled air, a loping bass and rubberized ripples of guitar. Ringlets of synth dart across the room with laser-guided glee and the whole song is held fast by the icy delivery of Sermeńo, who’s giving this a delightfully more lived-in approach than on The World’s output. The record’s a joint venture between Trouble in Mind in the US and Upset The Rhythm in the UK. The record is out September 4th and notably, the band & the labels will be donating any proceeds from the sale of the digital single for “Mad Love” thru the end of July to the Anti-Police Terror Project.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE (US) or HERE (UK).

0 Comments